Do OWLs drive you bonkers?

by James

in Organic Chem Study Tips, Understanding Electron Flow

 

A lot of students I talk to have to do online homework assignments as part of their coursework. Opinion is pretty mixed. Students like being able to test themselves, and the questions – from what I’ve seen – are pretty indicative of what’s on exams, although there’s certainly exceptions.

The biggest complaint I hear, by far, is this.

 I feel like I spend half my time getting the damn program to understand my answer. 

This is definitely a failure of communication.

Over at Cheersical Education, Mike Evans talks about how these programs help students and instructors to “speak the same language” when it comes to curved arrow conventions and standards.

He also says – this is important –

As a former grader of mountains of orgo exams, I can profess that nonsensical errors and ambiguity are the most common sources of confusion for graders (and lost points for students).

But if you don’t know what the “rules” of the convention are, it’s going to be pretty tough sledding doing these types of mechanism problems.

So Mike helpfully drew out a series of examples that should be helpful for students who are struggling with drawing curved arrows in OWLs (and other places too!)

Here’s a link to the PDF.

 

Image credit: Eve Stein

 

 

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